Monday, January 30, 2012

Fun Day of Dyeing Cotton Fabric

I finally got around to it!  There always seems to be something else that needs to get done so I put off doing the things I enjoy, like dyeing fabric and sewing.  Well today was the day!  I got out my supplies and ripped my fabric into fat quarters (approx. 20" sq.).
Next step was to mix the dye.  I put on my gloves and face mask, wet down a dish towel and went to work mixing.  The dye particles can drift, so the wet dish towel placed on the table helps to prevent that from happening because it pulls the drifting dye right to it. Put small amt. of hot water in cup, mix in dye particles. Add more water to make 1 cup.

I started with primary colors, yellow, red and blue.  I went on to mix these into three more colors which are green, orange and purple so I ended up with 6 colors in all (good math! : ).  I used the zip lock bag method of dyeing this time and found it very easy to do.  I added my scruntched up fat quarter to the bag, added a small amount of liquid soda ash and squeezed this to soak the fabric.  I added a few tablespoons of yellow dye first.  Always, lightest first!  Next I decided to add some of the green.  I squeezed the bag a little then put in another piece of cloth and repeated steps. I zipped up the bag and now I have to wait at least 1 hour.  I usually wait longer. 

Once the time is up, I rinse the dyed fabric in cold water until it runs clear to get all the stray dye out, then wash it in machine.  Machine dry until lightly damp.  Iron nice and crisp so the patterns show up clearly.  Tomorrow: Take photos to post.
There are a lot of instructions for dyeing on You Tube and other sites.  I hope this encourages you to give it a try.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

A Very Good Cause, Foto/Fiber

Foto/Fiber 2012

90 Photos AND 90 Fiber BONUSES

Gold Donor Day - February 15, 2012

Make a minimum donation of $100, choose a photo by Virginia A. Spiegel, Karen Stiehl Osborn, or Cynthia Wenslow and choose a Fiber BONUS by a specific artist from the following list of fiber artists.

Regular Foto/Fiber - February 16, 2012

Make a minimum donation of $50 and choose a photo by

Virginia A. Spiegel, Karen Stiehl Osborn, or Cynthia Wenslow.

Your Fiber BONUS will be chosen at random for you from the following list of generous fiber artists.

Artists donating Fiber BONUS include: Natalya Aikens,Frances Holliday Alford, Pamela Allen, Liz Berg, Sue Bleiweiss, Nancy G. Cook, Jane Davila, Vivika DeNegre, Diane Rusin Doran, Jane Dunnewold, Jamie Fingal, Leonie Hartley Hoover, Leslie Tucker Jenison, Lyric Kinard, Susan Brubaker Knapp, Lynn Krawzcyk, Jane LaFazio, Susan Lenz, Jeanelle McCall, Linda Teddlie Minton, Karen Musgrave, Gail Myrhorodsky, Karen Stiehl Osborn, BJ Parady, Cate Coulacos Prato, Yvonne Porcella,Wen Redmond, Sue Reno, Lesley Riley, Cynthia St. Charles, Susan Schrott, Suzanne Silk, Lura Schwarz Smith (with Kerby C. Smith), Sarah Ann Smith, and Terri Stegmiller

Drawings for Fiber Art throughout the event.

All patrons of Foto/Fiber 2012 will also have multiple chances throughout Foto/Fiber to win fiber art donated by:

Leonie Hartley Hoover

Lyric Kinard

Lynn Krawczyk

Yvonne Porcella

Susan Schrott

Mary Ann Van Soest

More information on how Foto/Fiber 2012 works:

Our goal – Raise $7,000 for the American Cancer Society!!!

Fiberart For A Cause has already donated over $215,000 to the American Cancer Society through the generosity of fiber artists and their patrons.


Virginia(at) for more information.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Riding the Artfire Train

Check out this site to show support for individual artist and crafters.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Fabric Design Continues Through The Years

Rust & SunPrint

I have been interested in fabric design for several years.  In the 70's I worked in a shop where we ran machines that produced polyester knits, very big at the time!  My job was to rethread the machines exactly so the design would be knit correctly.  Now I enjoy screen printing, fabric dyeing and fabric rusting and use the fabric in some small art quilts.  My goal is to move on to a larger piece and I have ideas for that churning around in my head.

I've followed a Blog I like for several years now and it's been fun seeing this artist grow and develop into someone most of the art quilt world is familar with.  Lynn Krawczyk is a wonderful writer and that's what held my attention when I read her earlier blogs. She has a series she's done for years, called "Where I Stand".  She  photographs her feet in different places each week and posts on Sundays.  She includes a poem or a comment along with her photo.  She has produced several books using these postings.  She's gone on to set up an Etsy shop where she sells her thermofax screens.  I'm a customer and expect to buy more very soon!  She's been on Quilting Arts TV and has published articles in their magazines as well as others. Now she is making and selling her fabric designs! This girl has MOTIVATION and her hard work is finally paying off!! I've linked this post to her blog address so you can check this out for yourself, enjoy!

In talking with a close friend today, she told me of a show she saw about Charles and Ray Eames, husband and wife team who developed many beautiful designs in furniture, fabric and more.  Some of Ray's designs remind me of the ones that Lynn is doing now.

Have a Great Weekend everyone!

Monday, January 2, 2012

Happy and Sad Times

I have written and re-written this post a few times.  I want to remember the good and fun things about this holiday season but there was some sadness thrown in as life will have it.  The adult daughter of a very close friend passed away suddenly before Christmas.  My friend, Donna is coping well with the loss, but I know the next few months will be difficult for her.  I'll be available to offer comfort.

My sister had a close call, she was in an auto accident before the holidays and suffered cuts, bruises and a fractured cheekbone.  She's recovering well and she even joined us for our "Family Christmas" celebration.  My sister-in-law is recovering from open heart surgery and doing well.  She also joined us.  We are all so thankful to have a close and loving family.  It was a wonderful celebration hosted by my good friends, Muffie and Norman, many thanks to them!

I want to wish everyone the Best New Year! 
More sewing, quilting, mixed media work and gardening in the spring!  Lots to look forward to!

That's me on the left in the front next to my brother Sidney, sister, Dot, her husband John, my brother, Dickie and his wife Barbara.  My daughter Karen took this photo so I could be in one of them.  I usually take all the pictures and don't get in many (by choice!)